Where Creativity, Entrepreneurship & Tech Meet
By Iyana Turner, Program Assistant for IT Academy
Shannon Graham is an Internet & Computing Core Certification (IC3) student and also a resident fashion guru.
While she creates jewelry, is a personal stylist, and does makeup and closet makeovers, Shannon also has a flare for tech. This may seem like an unlikely combo, but Shannon says, “The opportunity to be creative is awesome, but I need a career that will provide stability!” And that’s where computer classes come in.
Where It All Began
Shannon’s family is her whole motivation.
Her grandmother gave Shannon a beading kit when she was just 5 years old. She made key chains and then necklaces, and each year she received more beads.
With support from her family, Shannon has launched a jewelry business called TheDetails Glamsquad. She has a women’s line, children’s line, and she now has a men’s line of jewelry, with help from her husband.
Shannon isn’t just inspired by her family, she’s inspiring to them. She’s now passing skills down to her niece. The future of the family’s fashion, her niece is also the model for her children’s jewelry line.
As an entrepreneur, she looks to her father for inspiration. “I remember him always working,” she says, “he was always telling me about his future plans, and he’s done it.”
Creativity Plus Determination
Shannon is a licensed cosmetologist from the Montgomery Beauty School and got her start in personal styling with Warner Brothers Atlanta in a group called Bella. Working photoshoots, she discovered her passion for styling and was eventually approached for some styling jobs.
However, when she returned to DC, she desired stability. Through a counselor, she found Byte Back and took the Office Track class to build a stronger foundation for her computer skills. She has now finished IC3 and is already looking toward the A+ Certification Program. “I just got an old computer and took it apart. The floor of my den is covered in parts, and I’m learning them all,” Shannon says.
At the Intersection of Style & Tech
It’s easy to see Shannon’s zeal when talking about her personal style. Her eyes light up and her hands move with emphasis.
“When I put on an outfit, it’s going to look like me. Fashion is a mood more so than a look,” she says. “[Fashion] should draw emotions from people, and I think that’s what fashion really is.”
Shannon has taken the emotional and creative pull of fashion and added the smarts of an entrepreneur. She says, thanks to training at Byte Back, she can use Excel to track inventory and calculate her budget, create PowerPoint presentations for her parties, and use the Internet for research and buying supplies.
Shannon is even embracing technology in a creative way to market her business. “I use Instagram as my digital business card, Facebook as my communications platform with clients, and I’m starting an Etsy shop to boost sales,” she says.
“I want my 401k and house in the country; I want all of that!” she says. And Shannon will get all the success that comes with combining tech skills with creativity, and being well-dressed while doing it.